As expected, Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE). and Bertelsmann AG have reached an agreement that has Sony buying Bertelsmann’s 50 percent stake in Sony BMG for $1.2 billion. The music company will be called Sony Music Entertainment Inc. and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. Sony and Bertelsmann AG originally created the Sony BMG joint venture in August 2004. Details about the financials are here (PDF). More after the jump.
Bertelsmann had been seeking $1.5 billion for its stake, though it was expected with only $1.2 or $1.3 billion at most. Under the deal’s terms, the two have also agreed to continue to share the company’s manufacturing and distribution requirements between Sony’s manufacturing unit, Sony DADC, and Bertelsmann’s services company, Arvato Digital Services GmbH, by extending the agreements with Arvato for additional terms of up to six years. In addition, Bertelsmann will be taking over selected European music catalog assets from Sony BMG.
The deal comes a week after Sony reported a particularly poor Q2 for Sony BMG, as sales fell 6 percent. Citing the music industry’s universal struggles, Sony BMG recorded equity in net loss of $24 million on falling CD sales, higher restructuring costs and the non-recurrence of a prior year gain.
SMEI will be comprised of music labels such as: Arista Records, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Records, and Zomba. Some of the artists on included on those labels are Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Yo-Yo Ma, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Usher and Jay Chou. Release